US BISHOPS TO REMEMBER NUNCIO

Archbishop Sambi Buried in His Native Italy

WASHINGTON, DC, SEPT. 7, 2011 (Zenit.org).- U.S. bishops will honor the recently deceased Archbishop Pietro Sambi, papal nuncio to the United States, at a memorial Mass next week in the nation’s capital.

The Mass will be celebrated at midday on Wednesday, Sept. 14, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, will preside and deliver the homily.

Over 80 bishops from around the United States will concelebrate the Mass in honor of Archbishop Sambi, and attendance is open to the public. EWTN will televise the Mass live.

Archbishop Sambi, 73, died July 27 in Baltimore after complications arose following a lung surgery. His was buried in Sogliano al Rubicone, Italy.

Archbishop Sambi was appointed U.S. nuncio, or ambassador, in December 2005 by Benedict XVI. Prior to the U.S. appointment, Pope John Paul II had named him nuncio to Israel and Cyprus and apostolic delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine in 1998. The appointment made him only the second Vatican ambassador to Israel, after the Vatican and Israel established diplomatic relations in 1994.

In a statement released upon the nuncio’s death, Archbishop Dolan called Archbishop Sambi a friend of the United States: “As the personal representative of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Sambi enjoyed the highest respect and deepest affection of the bishops of the United States and of our Catholic people.”

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